Retail update: Redesigned Knox Street store re-opens Friday, new store launches in Spain’s tourist town of Marbella

As Apple’s former retail chief Ron Johnson sets its sights on re-inventing the shopping experience at the J.C. Penney department stores and the search for his replacement continues, the Cupertino, California-headquartered gadget designer isn’t resting on its laurels. Future plans call for continuation of an aggressive retail expansion that includes 40 new stores during fiscal 2012, thirty of them outside the United States. Read more

Ron Johnson tapping former Apple peers but not poaching…yet

Ron Johnson, Apple’s former vice president of retail and the creator of the Apple Store, left for J.C. Penney November 1 and already he is picking industry veterans to join his leadership team at the Plano, Texas-headquartered department store chain. The Wall Street Journal reports that Johnson is tapping former Apple talent, including former chief financial office of Apple Retail Michael Kramer and Apple’s chief talent officer Daniel Walker.

Interestingly, it was Walker who helped Steve Jobs hire Ron Johnson to head Apple’s retail efforts. Both men served at Apple from 2000 to 2005. Granted, Walker and Kramer are both long-exited Apple people, but the temptation for current Apple talent to somehow make its way to Penney will always linger.

Sure, you might say who would  rather work at J.C. Penney rather than the most powerful, cool technology company in the world. But on a granular level, there might be high paying jobs with Johnson that Apple won’t match that could draw some top Apple talent.  Johnson himself is probably the best example of that.

There is also likely a non-compete clause in Ron Johnson’s severance agreement barring him from poaching Apple employees, but those are easily circumvented.  Just as Steve Jobs poached a bunch of his top Apple engineers to build out NeXT…
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Steve Cano to replace Ron Johnson as Head of Retail at Apple? (Update: Search ongoing)


Update: The reporters at Bloomberg are somehow using us as a source for this false rumor.  We’ve contacted them to correct but they’ve so far left it untouched.  Our report comes from iFoAppleStore and CultofMac (below)

Updated from Cult of Mac: Apple has gotten back to us a statement, reading: “The search for a replacement for Ron Johnson continues, and Apple has nothing to announce about this subject at this time.”

Updated: 2: Apple wanted to make sure it was clear that no decision has been made yet and the Cult of Mac story is without merit.

Ron Johnson has only been gone a few days but rumors are already swirling that Steve Cano will be replacing the new JCPenney CEO as head of Apple’s retail business. Cult of Mac reports separately from an earlier post by ifoAppleStore’s Gary Allen which seems to indicate that Cano will assume the position. Here is the full statement as released by the Apple Retail Workers Union:

Statement regarding Steve Jobs and the future of Apple

by Apple Retail Workers Union on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 2:06am

The organizers of the Apple Retail Workers Union wish to express their condolences to the family of Steve Jobs. He was an inspiration to many, and will be regarded as one of the greats of our time. He followed his heart and did what he loved, which resulted in Apple becoming one of the greatest companies in the world. He surrounded himself with intelligent people who helped create technology that improved the way we live and share our lives.

With that in mind, we want to remind that while Steve and his teams created products and solutions to work “right out of the box”, Apple’s retail stores are still experiencing problems 10 years after launch. The messages we receive from workers illustrate a desire for improved compensation, consistent management policies and adherence to local, state and national laws. The feeling extends to the workers at Apple’s suppliers including Foxconn, Wintek, Samsung and others.

We wish much success to Tim Cook and Steve Cano, who will be leading Apple and its retail stores going forward. As word of our movement grows and workers become increasingly interested in finding solutions where management is unwilling or unable, we continue to take pride in the opportunity we have every day to provide our customers with enriching experiences. At our core, we simply want Apple to return to its roots and remind itself that their “most important resource… is our people”.

We can’t confirm that Cano has been promoted and in fact his role is still listed as Apple retail employee in Region XV. He’s certainly in the running, as one of Ron Johnson’s subordinates.

Cano started with Apple ten years ago as the manager of Steve Jobs’s local Palo Alto Apple Store. He then rose through the ranks…

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John Herbold has left the iCloud

According to his LinkedIn Profile, John Herbold has left the iCloud.  On his departure, he said:

I’ve been fortunate enough to define, ship and market a variety of products for one of the world’s most admired product companies. That opportunity was a great privilege.

Now I get to take that experience and apply it to the enormous challenge of materially improving youth health.

He is the third prominent Apple employee to leave the company in recent months (though much less so than the others), following MacOSX head Bertrand Serlet a few months ago and Stores leader Ron Johnson last week.

He was at Apple during the MobileMe rollout and managed to stay almost until the iCloud announcement this month.

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